Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Okinawa Folktale: Son of an Angel

She Couldn't Fly Naked



A beautiful maiden from heaven landed in Ginowan.

At Morinokawa (森川) Spring, she decided to take a bath and, hung her robe in a tree.

stained glass, heavenly maiden
Photo: Stained Glass of Artwork by Shinzan Yamada

Along came Okumashi, a farmer who spotted the clothing.

He dropped his tools on the ground and grabbed the cloth, hanging in the bushes.

He forgot all about washing his tools and, ran off with the angel's clothes.

He stashed the robe in his toolshed.

Then, remembered, he left his tools, back at the spring.

Surprise !




Returning to the spring, he spots a naked woman.

She was hiding in the bushes, crying because her clothes were missing.

The gentleman farmer, that he was, he offered to take her to his house, nearby.

He gave her clothes and food to eat but, never mentioned the robe.

As time went by, they fell in love, married and, had children.

The first child was a girl, followed by a boy.

One day, the girl was trying to get the younger brother, to stop crying.

She sang a song, which mentioned a magic, flying robe, hidden in the shed.

The mother, overheard and, learned where her angel outfit had been stashed.

Upon finding her long lost robe, she put it on. 

She flew off into the heavens, without saying good-bye to anyone.

Life Goes On

The daughter grew up and married a Ryukyu Lord.

The son, not interested in farming, chose to go fishing and exploring.

He heard rumors, that the Lord of Katsuren Castle was looking for a prince.

He wanted someone to marry his beautiful daughter.

Janamui (angel's son) went to the castle hoping to check the princess out.

Princes Normally Married Princesses

Plenty of these dudes would visit the castle, all dressed up.

Janamui went to visit, wearing simple, banana cloth, worn by the working class.

A sentry at the castle gate told him, peasants weren't allowed.

The princess, hearing the conversation, told the guard, to let the man in so, she could meet him.

She looked him over and, told the Lord, this was the man she wanted to marry.

Eventually, Janamui became King Sato, ruler of the entire Ryukyu Kingdom.


Folktales of Okinawa ISBN4-947654-05-8 P.32

Condensed from The Angel's Son

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